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Bill Thayer

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 p372  Cucullus

Article by James Yates, M.A., F.R.S.,
on p372 of

William Smith, D.C.L., LL.D.:
A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London, 1875.

[image ALT: A man wearing a tunic and a hood, sitting on a rock, looking at a wolf breast-feeding 2 children. It is Faustulus, the Roman She-Wolf and Romulus and Remus.]

CUCULLUS, a cowl. As the cowl was intended to be used in the open air, and to be drawn over the head to protect it from the injuries of the weather, instead of a hat or cap, it was attached only to garments of the coarsest kind. Its form is seen attached to the dress of the shepherd in the annexed woodcut, which is taken from a gem in the Florentine cabinet, and represents a Roman shepherdº looking at the she-wolf with Romulus and Remus. The cucullus was also used by persons in the higher circles of society, when they wished to go abroad without being known (Juv. VI.330). The use of the cowl, and also of the cape [Birrus], which served the same purpose, was allowed to slaves by a law in the Codex Theodosianus (Vossius, Etym. Ling. Lat. s.v. Birrus). Cowls were imported into Italy from Saintes in France (Santonico cucullo, Juv. VIII.145; Schol. in loc.), and from the country of the Bardaei in Illyria (Jul. Cap. Pertinax, 8). Those from the latter locality were probably of a peculiar fashion, which gave origin to the term Bardocucullus. Liburnici cuculli are mentioned by Martial (XIV.139).​a

Thayer's Note:

a Liburnian cowls are mentioned by Martia, as are Bardaean cowls, in XIV.128, and again in I.53, where the poet characterizes them as clothing of the Lingones, a tribe subgroups of which lived in Liguria, NE Gaul, and Britain.

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